John Aul

                                             ARTICLE 11

                       HISTORICAL PAPER RE JOHN AUL

          I stand before you with a great deal of pride as a
representative of the oldest fraternity in the world - the oldest
and the largest.  In 1966, the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia
celebrated its one hundredth anniversary, but that was merely the
founding of our Grand Lodge, and bore little relationship to the
beginnings of Freemasonry.  

          Well over 200 years ago there was formed in this little
community of Annapolis Royal the first Masonic Lodge in what is now
the Dominion of Canada; but again the beginnings of Freemasonry
were many years before.  In 1967, the Grand Lodge of England
celebrated the 250th anniversary of its formation; this still was
only the formation of that Grand Lodge.  Freemasonry began
centuries earlier.

          The story of the founding of Freemasonry goes back so
many years that it is completely lost in the annals of history.  We
pride ourselves on our glorious past, and our ancient traditions. 
We pride ourselves on our principles and talk about our charity. 
Our principles are such that they form the very foundation of
civilization.  If they cease to be generally accepted then
civilization must disappear.  If you rad the pages of history you
find other civilizations have ceased to be, and if you rad the
daily papers you will find how thin still is the lacquer that
distinguishes man from the beast.  This country needs more
organizations like ours.  Freemasonry lives in our hearts and
minds, and we are inspired by its teachings.

          In 1804, a young man by the name of John Aul came to
Halifax in an armed brig of war which that year brought out a
detachment of artillery to which he belonged.  He determined to be
made a member of the Order of Free and Accepted Masons if it were
possible.  He was recommended in the usual way to Virgin Lodge of
Halifax, by a member of that Lodge, accepted and received his first
degree, when his detachment was placed under orders to proceed to
Jamaica.  A Lodge of emergency was called and he obtained the two
following degrees, and his Master's Certificate.  The brig sailed
at the appointed time, and had a pleasant voyage until within a
short distance of St,. Ann's, the port to which she was bound. 
Then there was reason to think there was danger, as the island was
approached.  The French had many fine frigates afloat in West
Indian waters, and at early dawn all hands on board were aroused by
the booming report of a gun.  Coming on deck they beheld a fine 


                                   - 2 -

large French frigate, so near that there was no possibility of
escape.  It was the discharge of one of her guns across the bow
that had awakened them.  It was decided to surrender.  The French
commander immediately sent a boat with an officer to board the brig
of war, and in the inspection which followed the officer found John
Aul's Masonic certificate.  He asked to whom it belonged.  On
finding out he politely bowed to John Aul, and told him that the
officers of the ship would be put on shore on the point of land
nearest to St. Ann's and allowed to take all their personal
property with them.  He expressed his regret that it was out of his
power to land them nearer, and thereby save them the trouble they
might experience in reaching their destination, a thing he would
willingly have done were it not for the danger he faced in being
captured by some of the vessels in the neighbourhood.

          The brig of war was of course, taken and the crew made
prisoners, but the rest were safely landed at the cape.  The foe
was a Freemason!  Mr. Aul was one of the oldest Masons in Nova
Scotia at the time of his death. 

          What is Masonry?  It is not something that can be handed
over like a suit of clothes, or a house and lot.  Real masonry
comes from within.  As well, try to make a trained athlete by a
correspondence course as to make real masons by lodge attendance
and memorizing the ritual.  The ritual points the way, but real
masonry comes from practising in our daily lives the virtues taught
us.  My Brethren, let us strive more earnestly to understand the
meanings of our rites and ceremonies.  Let us carefully search for
the meaning of our symbols, and let us faithfully practise the
principles of our Order.  We will then go to Lodge to come away
better men.

          We may travel East or wander West,
          Or North or South may roam;
          But where the spirit of Brotherhood dwells,
          Any place is home, sweet home.


                                   - 3 -

                    WHY I STAY AWAY FROM LODGE

          1.  Because it's too hot.
                    (It's hot on the golf course too.)

          2.  Because it's too cold.
                    (It's warm and friendly inside.)

          3.  Because it rains.
                    (One goes to work in the rain.)

          4.  Because you didn't get a personal invitation.
                    (People go to the movies without being asked.)

          5.  Because you have company.
                    (Ask them to wait until you can get back --
                     they will admire your loyalty.)

          6.  Because you are getting poor.
                    (There is no admission charge.)

          7.  Because you are rich.
                    (Be grateful to the source for such a

          8.  Because you don't like a certain officer.
                    (I'm human, too.)

          9.  Because you have plenty of time to go later.
                    (Don't be too sure.)

AMIRAULT ON FEB. 10, 1990.